News : Resolute Consulting President Greg Goldner quoted in the Chicago Reader
July 22, 2010
Chicago Reader
By Ben Joravsky

... Goldner, is one of Mayor Daley's favorite political operatives. In 1999 he ran the campaign that got former Daley aide John Pope elected Tenth Ward alderman over several independent-minded candidates. In 2002 he managed Rahm Emanuel's first primary campaign for Congress. That fall he ran Rod Blagojevich's first general election campaign for governor. And then he went on to manage Daley's 2003 mayoral run.

Until recently, I didn't know he was advising Huberman on school issues. But Max Brooks—the freelance writer who wrote a story for the Reader last week about Finney mobilizing paid pro-Walmart demonstrators—sent a Freedom of Information Act request to CPS asking for records of any meeting between Finney and Huberman.

CPS responded by sending Brooks sections from Huberman's appointment calendars, including the April 19 entry, which reads: "11 am Meeting w/Dr.Finney, Juan Rangel, Adam Case and Greg Goldner re: School Funding Plan." (Case is one of Huberman's aides.) Max passed the information on to me.

So what diabolical scheme were the fellows cooking up in Huberman's office that day? I thought I'd try to find out.

Monique Bond, Huberman's press secretary, said there was nothing diabolical or even newsworthy about the meeting.

Huberman, she said, sits down with all kinds of people all the time, especially now that he's trying to figure out how to erase a $300 million budget deficit.

"They only thing I can say is that Ron regularly meets with community organizations, faith-based groups, and heads of schools," said Bond.

But Goldner, Rangel, Finney? C'mon—they must have talking politics.

"There would have been a number of things that came up in their conversation," Bond said.

I called Goldner and he told me he wants to make one thing perfectly clear: He is not—repeat, not—a paid consultant for CPS. He was lending his advice free of charge.

And what was the advice?

"When it comes to education funding, you have to make it clear that it's a statewide issue," he said. "If it becomes Chicago versus the rest of the state, Chicago has no hope of making up the money."

Goldner says he's had other meetings with Huberman, some of which were attended by Finney and Rangel. He doesn't remember exactly how many or when, but says other people were in the room with them.

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